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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I brought home my parrotlet 6 weeks ago. Since bringing him home, ive had no progress bonding with him. He becomes afraid when I near him. I can't give him treats because if I get too close, he flies or scoots away. Never bites me, though. He is otherwise happy, chirping and eating lots of healthy things.

I reached out to the breeder, who told me the bird simply doesn't like me and there's not much I can do about it. A local pet store told me if bonding hasn't happened yet, i'm screwed.

For reference: since day 2 or 3, I've allowed him to come out of his cage on his own, not forcing anything (except when I got his wings clipped). Ive also stopped reaching into his cage. I let him come out when he wants, talk to him, and help him back into the cage.

Does anyone have any suggestions about this very skittish bird? He's otherwise very spunky, intelligent and bold.

Any help most appreciated~
 

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Hello, you will receive a lot of advice here on this forum. The advice will not always be the same. Each bird is different and each owners bonding experience is also different. My suggestion to you is read it all and try what you like and my guess is something will work for you.

IMO I do not think that you will never have a relationship with your bird. Some birds take longer than others to bond. It may seem like it has been a long time but not really.

My guy was (and still is after 6 years) skittish. I made the decision to just let him be and get used to me. That worked for us. It seems like you are able to handle him a bit and most times I find that my guy will allow it when he is tired. I also let him out and he hangs on his play gym.

One thing I did was offer fresh foods and treats outside of the cage and he now associates outside as a good thing. We also eat dinner together, he loves to eat what we are eating, on his own plate though.

Not every bird will love hands, not every bird will step up on a finger. You will have to find what works for you both. In my house it is a right hand palm side up that works. He will walk over to my hand if it is placed near him.

Trust take a while to build with these little birds. Not every bird is a love ball. My guy is happy sitting near me, he chirps and will flock call if I leave the room. He will also mimick some things and we can have a nice little chat lol.

Don't give up, baby steps. Loof for the positives and I bet you will be surprised
 

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Rizzie5022 I spot on! There will be a lot of advice and one thing we do not do in this forum is to tell you someone is wrong when they offer advice. Parrotlets are very complex birds, especially when you are dealing with a bird species like the Dwarf Parrot.(small hook bill).



Just think...your p'lett has the mind of his/her cousin, the Green Amazon parrot! Small bird with a big brain means you are dealing with a larger parrot than you think!


I have had birds for 50 years, but I am only on my second parrotlet. Let me tell you, I have never, ever dealt with a bird as tough minded as the p'lett! They can be stubborn and loving at the same time. They are highly intelligent and self motivated.


Your birdie is young. At three months, he is getting ready to go through his terrible two's ! Remember me telling you that we do not disagree with our forum members? I am right. But, some store advice and certain breeder's advice we will disagree because we have the actual experiences of over thousands of members and readers. Stores sell and breeders sell p'letts, not necessarily ' raise' them to maturity.


We have stubborn birds, like stubborn humans. Treats help a lot! PATIENCE helps a lot! Your hands do not help a lot. Your hands are like Hawks to a p'lett in some cases. A three month old bird has had experiences that you do not know about. A store bird gets teased a lot and is constantly around strange people and commotions.


There is hope! This forum is top notch! We are ranked number 1 in the top 100 forums around! Look at the bottom of this page and click on to vote for us! We will answer every question we can. But, you MUST keep posting to us! Do not give up. I have been a member almost 6 years and this forum's advice saved my parrotlet 2 times! Someone knows something all the time.

Right now, people are busy with the holidays, so keep this in mind.


The absolute best thing you can do right now is wait a while for your " What's his name? " bird settle down. We do not know you yet. Like, " Do you have any other pets in the home? " " Do you give your bird as close to 12 hours of quiet darkness each day? "
" Is he warm enough? " " Is there a lot of commotion or movement around the home? " " Do you have a mirror in his cage? " This is a no no! He will fall in love with his reflection.


Send us a picture. You won't believe this, but people have had love birds and was told they were p'letts! Big difference in bird behaviors!


So, calm down and relax. Talk sweetly to him. Give plenty of love and positive attention. I wouldn't let him out too much. In fact he is happy in his cage right now. He is safe, there for right now. Get hemp seeds. These seeds seem to help out. P'letts love to be fed one seed at a time with hemp seeds. Put it in between your index finger and thumb and let him get the seed. This way, your hand becomes the Mother bird and he will feed from you. My first parrotlet was a bit bitey until I gave him the seeds one at a time.


We started bonding, then. Bonding is trust. Trust is bonding! Stepping up is bonding on a high level! Stepping up in his cage is even better!


Let us know!


David and Ricochet ( Ricco):cool:;)






 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
David, thank you for your very thoughtful reply. It's very informative! I appreciate the care and time taken to write it.

Im sure Jatayu is a parrotlet. If i could get him to be still I would take a picture :)

He's getting good sleep, fresh foods and I have no other pets, nor is there a lot of commotion. No mirrors.

I will follow your advice about trying hemp seeds. If i move my hand near him though, he panics. But I will try.

Will also follow your advice about not letting him out too much and talking sweetly to him. Yesterday I opened the cage door and he flew out, today I opened it, and he didn't. He does seem to feel safe and happy in there. He seems a little scared when out of the cage, to be honest.

The breeder I got him from told me that each one of his siblings has already bonded with their new owners and allows petting. When I heard that, I assumed Im doing something very wrong (where my bird would be so afraid of me). But I can't figure out WHAT im doing wrong - his cage is kept clean, it's in a good space, it's peaceful, he has fresh foods and seed, Im not grabbing him, im not putting my hand in the cage (except to change out his treats), I talk to him while Im home. I just can't figure it out what my mistake is.

But maybe, as I'm hearing, it will just take a while.
 

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Hi,

I reached out to the breeder, who told me the bird simply doesn't like me and there's not much I can do about it. A local pet store told me if bonding hasn't happened yet, i'm screwed.
I'm sorry, but that's hogwash. Made me laugh out loud! If this was true then people who get rescued birds or older birds would never have a relationship with them and that it's plain BS.

Not all birds are the same and they haven their own personalities. I don't want to just reiterate everyone everyone has already said but I don't think you're doing anything wrong.

Some bird like loud noises and some birds need a slower pace. Monty really enjoyed us playing loud music and dancing about 2 feet from his cage and it made him come out of his shell. He loves playing sort of 'roughly' (i.e., attack the toy, attack the fingers [although he doesn't actually bite]) but that side of him didn't come out for weeks. Some birds like to be softly talked to, or music played, or a much slower pace. I really think what you are doing is great. Try many different things. It took Monty weeks to really bond to us, although he's been good at being handled, I too was worried about bonding. 6 weeks with some progress outside of the cage sounds awesome and do not let yourself be discouraged.

I found that with birds I've owned sometimes it just... clicks one day. They suddenly accept you or suddenly are coming to you out of curiosity, or suddenly flock call to you and won't leave you alone.

Keep going, don't give up! He sounds like a very happy birdie already. If you can get pictures I'd love to see them! :eek:
 

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I reached out to the breeder, who told me the bird simply doesn't like me and there's not much I can do about it. A local pet store told me if bonding hasn't happened yet, i'm screwed.
Way too early to tell on this at this point and very unlikely anyway. Not sure who the breeder is or the pet store folk but it does not sound like they know anything about the raising of birds, just the selling of.

You are in very early days of this. It sounds like you have a rather reserved skittish little one so it may take a bit of time to woo them but it should be possible. You are going to have to be in for the long haul (or maybe not) but it is worth it. Bonds is just another word for relationship and as in all relationships the time frame and type of relationship varies and changes as time and familiarity goes on.
 

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For reference: since day 2 or 3, I've allowed him to come out of his cage on his own, not forcing anything (except when I got his wings clipped). Ive also stopped reaching into his cage. I let him come out when he wants, talk to him, and help him back into the cage.
I do think you are making an error on this part. When I got my rescues they were fearful of people, territorial of the cage, hated hands. One of the methods I did was to put my hands in their cage often. Sometimes to clean the cage, sometimes to move around stuff, mainly I let them hang out there. I would not grab them with my hands but would approach them. The point is that they had to get used to the concept that hands, specifically my hands were part of the new world order. They were not bad or good in the cage they just were. Took me about a month of hands in the cage stuff. It was rather boring to do but worth it in the end.

Just for a point for you to get your head around. Your little one was at a breeder surrounded by nest mates, parents, other birds, a safe nest, etc. Then while still very young he was taken from there and put into a pet shop where he was basically ignored and poked at by very big people he did not know. Now he is at a different location surrounds by many unknown things. He is a very small bird in a very large strange land surrounded by large creatures that as a small prey animal he knows in his instincts might want to eat him. This can be a little much and it is not unusual for some birds to take a bit of time to decide that their new owner is safe and eventually loving. But you will get there.
 

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Way too early to tell on this at this point and very unlikely anyway. Not sure who the breeder is or the pet store folk but it does not sound like they know anything about the raising of birds, just the selling of.

You are in very early days of this. It sounds like you have a rather reserved skittish little one so it may take a bit of time to woo them but it should be possible. You are going to have to be in for the long haul (or maybe not) but it is worth it. Bonds is just another word for relationship and as in all relationships the time frame and type of relationship varies and changes as time and familiarity goes on.
I totally agree here - way too early to tell.

And with your lower comments, I think that would be a good idea for OP to try. Just putting the hands in there (slowly) and doing things that aren't related to trying to get the bird out. I think your reply is spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you so much @aqueillo and @ozzie3860... really helpful. Im relieved that there's still hope.

I will take the advice of putting my hand in the cage to do things and hoping it becomes a neutral thing to Jatayu.

One thing he does, that Im curious about- if i leave the room, he will become VERY loud. If i whistle to call out to him, he stops being so loud. Im not sure if he's celebrating me leaving his presence... or wondering if Im Ok.....?

Lol
 

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Thank you so much @aqueillo and @ozzie3860... really helpful. Im relieved that there's still hope.

I will take the advice of putting my hand in the cage to do things and hoping it becomes a neutral thing to Jatayu.

One thing he does, that Im curious about- if i leave the room, he will become VERY loud. If i whistle to call out to him, he stops being so loud. Im not sure if he's celebrating me leaving his presence... or wondering if Im Ok.....?

Lol
Actually it sounds like you are describing a flock call. It is a thing our little ones do to keep connect to us. He is letting you know where he is and wants to know where you are. It is a good thing. You are right to call back.
 

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Hope is definitely still there. Every bird is different. Just cause he needs a little extra time, that doesn't mean you guys won't build a great relationship.

I agree on putting your hands in the cage for food, water, and cleaning. However, don't leave your hands sitting in the cage. You want him to grow comfortable without making him feel like his space is no longer safe. Letting them come out of the cage on their own before working with them worked very well for the parrotlets I've had.

Milo was terrified of hands when I brought him home. What worked really well for him was music and millet. He is a huge music lover and was a big help in letting him relax around me. I recommend playing different genres to find out what your bird likes. I made Milo his own Pandora station. He likes Disney music and Broadway musicals. Recently he has also been liking some pop music.

Since millet is really long, you can offer Jatayu one end while your hand is far away on the other end. Let him nibble and eat a safe distance away. Then every day move your hand a little bit closer. He'll gradually get used to your hands being near and realize he's still safe. It took me about a week before I was able to have my hand next to Milo on the millet. Don't feel discouraged if it takes Jatayu two or three weeks - or longer - before your hand can be next to him on the millet.

Then I started working with finger treats after Milo was comfortable near my hands. I taught him to step up on a perch with millet. It took me a month before I could get Milo to step up on my hand. He's a wonderful and sassy bird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you @GracefulWolf! From following this advice so far, Jatayu is getting used to my hand in the cage. I did a bit of cleaning and that freaked him out, but the rest didn't.

I will try the millet training that you suggest.

Two days ago i was placing a new toy in his cage and he got scared and flew out. Since he isn't tamed or trained, I have to catch him to put him back in his cage. I don't grab him and I try to soothe him with my voice, but Im wondering if this is harmful to trust/bonding?
 

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Hi. Be Patient! Always!


When you leave the room and Jatayu calls out, this is a good sign!!!! It is called " Flock Calling " When birds are in the wild and one member gets a little lost, the flock calls for that bird. Also, if a bird gets too far away from the flock, he will flock call. They also flock call when they all get together and eat or go to roost(sleep).


Jatayu is calling you because, at least right now, he considers you part of a flock (family). It also tells me that he likes to be around you, too. He flock calls because he needs to see you. My Bogie, who I had for ten years, flock called me every time I left the room!


When you whistle, he hears this and knows you have not left him alone. You see? He does like you. So, build on this.


I am curious....How do you get him back into the cage? Right now, I would not let him out too much until he gets more trust going on. You have to make friends with him, slowly.



Something will click one day and all of a sudden, you will call out to our Creator and say thanks. We are all creatures who can live together peacefully as it was meant to be.


Feed him through the bars of his cage or open the cage and feed him treats, etc. Relax. He can sense you being nervous.
When you approach him with a treat, say things like, " Jatayu, do you want some yummies? " or ' Jatayu, you want a yum yum?"
He will learn that when you say this, he knows it is something good. It will relax him before you get near him.
Keep trying. Slow. Easy. Gentle. Friendly.


David and Ricco:cool:;)
 

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great advice

You have had some great advice from seasoned forum members.

I would like to add one more thing.

Whenever you have something new to put into a cage, have it outside the cage where your bird can see it and know it's not a threat for a couple of days. Put yourself in his place----a little guy trying to survive is to be weary of everything new. He will get used to seeing it and not panic when placed in his territory.

Oliver got a fancy new rope toy, and it took more than one week of displaying it for him outside the cage so he would be comfortable around it.

Best to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@DavidMiller- he flies out of the cage and lands on the ground since his wings are clipped. I want to help him back into the cage but he flies from me. Not knowing how else to get him back, i place my hand under him in the air so he lands on it. then i cup my other hand over him and hold him in this little cave close in. he doesn't bite. is this horrible? I just haven't known how else to get him back to his "safe space" when he exits the cage, since he wont step into my hand himself. catch 22.

@LindaV thank you for this advice! and @davidmiller for the flock call information as well! I feel im getting an education here!
 

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Hello! Catching up on your adventure.
I can't believe the breeder said "he didn't like you"?!!
Why I outta....... That is rediculous! Everybirdy is different. For example, there is member here who's bird is quite literally Melody's sibling. Same breeder, both blue, hatched days apart. Her mom and I met on the forum. Daisy was waaaay more timid than Melody just by personality!! And whoever said you were "screwed" is pfffft. Ok moving on. I'm sorry those people were so discouraging.

Super cute he is flock calling you, that's a good sign. I always use the millet method Gracefullwolf described. It's worked with all 5 of my birds to bind with them.

If he fly's out the cage by choice or by accident, you are doing the right thing asking him to "step up" or scooping him from the floor is actually good for you because you are like a hero coming to the rescue. If you have a few moments opportunity to have him sit on your hand before returning him to the cage I would take it, granted he's not on the edge of a total freak out. *Edit I just re read your description. Yes I think cupping him is fine, bottom line you have to keep him safe. I do worry that you could accidentally hurt him trying to catch him midair. I dont know how passionately he runs from you, but you can try coaxing him in or moving very slowly on the floor to get him to step up. Or is the cage small enough to sit on the floor so he can go in on his own?

I have one very skittish little boy, he was 10 months old and not tame at all when I got him. He has come a long way usng the methods everyone has shared, but he's still barely comfortable outside the cage. I think he had quite a rough go at it before me.

I also have a Bourke Parakeet I got as a baby and he hated me!! I was so affraid I made a mistake, for at least 3-4 weeks straight all he did was run from me. I thought he would never come around, I just continued every day with trusted methods (millet millet and millet...) Whistling to him, sitting by him.... I am still astonished at the bird he is today. So so friendly and outgoing with everyone, he will fall asleep on me now he's so trusting.

Do not feel discouraged, we all have been through training slumps and made mistakes and had a timid bird at one time or another. It's important to remember he is young and you are in this together! You may have a mishap here or there and think "oh no! I ruined it! It's all a set back!" I promise it's not. Just keep moving forward, and before you know it you will be sharing your success story with the next new member. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi all,

Update. Not much progress with Jatayu. I've left him be in this cage/home and he seems contented there. When i open the door to allow him to come out, he doesn't want to.

I've tried the millet training, place a spray of millet through the cage bars, but he always scoots away. No progress there.

He likes when I talk to him, but sometimes he scoots away from me with that, too. It's really discouraging.

Not sure what to do.
 

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also... tried posting a picture of Jatayu as profile pic... don't know why it doesnt show up.
I seen this when you were posting your last post and wanted to let you know you need to use "Edit Avatar" on your control panel. The last time you put the picture to your profile page but you need to set it as your avatar for it to show up under your name. (did the same thing the first time)

As far as the taming goes others will be better help for sure. I also have a new bird and struggling with him too. I can reach in the cage and say tickle, tickle and he lets me rub his head so that is what I have been doing. I guess it just take a lot of time.

As for the millet I put some in his bowl and he has started eating it now. I was able to get him on my finger today eating millet but got over confident and tried to pull him out of the cage... he went right back in then was scared of the millet again, lol (luckily he still likes the tickle, tickle)
 
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